The Walters State Community College Senators had four players associated with the program hear their names called last week on the final day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft.
Senators sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Pope was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 13th round and was followed shortly after by former Walters State right-handed hurler Will Carter who was drafted in the 14th round by the New York Yankees after pitching at the University of Alabama this season.
Senators sophomore right-handed pitcher and outfielder Reed Hayes and red shirt sophomore left-handed pitcher and outfielder Dylan Horne were both taken by the Kansas City Royals. Hayes was selected in the 28th round, while Horne went 10 rounds later in the 38th round.
Pope, a 6-foot-7 reliever from Johnson City, worked 22 2/3 innings this season in 19 relief appearances and collected a 2-0 record on the year. He struck out 32 batters, walked 16, gave up 16 hits and 10 runs – nine earned – for a 3.57 earned run average while averaging 12.7 strikeouts per nine innings. This makes the third time Pope has been drafted, including a 39th round selection last year by the Miami Marlins.
Hayes, a 6-foot-2 righty also from Johnson City, red shirted this past season after suffering a foot injury early in the season. In his abbreviated season in which he played in seven games, Hayes ad four hits at the plate with a triple, scored five runs and drove in two while also working three innings on the mound. He was 1-0 with a 3.00 earned run average after giving up one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts in his lone start.
Carter, another Johnson City product, battled through injuries to have two productive seasons for the Senators before working as a weekend starter this year for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Horne, a 6-foot-2 left-hander from Staunton, Virginia, red shirted after transferring from James Madison University.